Saturday, July 30, 2011

Finding my voice

I was beginning to think finding my voice, the one heard through my blog and Tweets and Facebook, was harder than finding my protagonist’s voice, and it shouldn’t be that way. After all, I do know my own voice. I don’t have to stop and think how I’ll react to a situation. I know what I like and dislike and what words I’ll choose when I respond to someone.

Susan Kaye Quinn’s post helped me to put the whole idea of voice in perspective and it got me thinking about my Author Brand, something I knew about but was just beginning to understand.

As a person, I’m more playful than serious. I like to have fun and to see the people I’m with having fun. I also like to help others. These traits tend to find their way into my characters. Why shouldn’t they show in my blog posts?

I’m starting to think my voice has always been there. It’s just that I’ve been afraid to let it show in my posts. Part of my problem is I can’t help but think I’m not famous. Who’s going to care what I have to say. But the truth is, if only one person cares, then that is something. And one day a blog post of mine may even help that person get passed something they’ve been struggling with.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Things to do after you sign the contract

By now, your family and friends know the good news and if your experience is anything like mine, you have a couple weeks to a month from the time you sign the contract to the time you get the first letter from your editor with his or her editorial notes. There are some things you can think about that will help keep you ahead of the game.

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to start a blog. Social networking is great, but it doesn’t give you the flexibility that a blog does.

Start a list of people you want to include in your acknowledgements.

Start to think about your author bio. For whatever reason, I found this hard to write.

Make a list of ways to self-promote your book. Yes, your publishing house will help you, but you should be as involved in promoting your book as you can be. Your local librarians, bookstores, the employees at your favorite places to write are people to talk to when it gets closer to your release date..

Start to think about your website. What domain name(s) do you want? Are they available? What will it look like? Will you create your site or will you hire a website designer? Maybe even check out the sites of some of your favorite authors for ideas.

Give some thought to your author photo. What type of photo do you want? Who will take it? What will you wear? Check out some photographer’s site for tips on what to wear. Contact your favorites to get an idea of what they offer and cost.

And of course, take some time to breathe. You will be busy enough once you get further into the process.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Don’t judge a book by its cover

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said this over the years, especially to my boys. It’s great advice. But when it comes to finding new books to read, I’m guilty of doing just that. A great cover will catch my eye. It’s what makes me pick a book up and read the back cover or first page.

Lately, I’ve wondered how many incredible books I’ve missed out on reading because the cover didn’t grab me. I started to wonder how many people choose books by the cover. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. How do you find new books to read?

Friday, July 8, 2011

What to expect after your novel is accepted for publication

I have to admit, I lost track of how many times I read the email from the acquisition editor saying my novel was accepted. Thrilled doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt and I made my husband come read the letter too. This was a publishing house I’d been watching. I’d checked their titles and read several excerpts from books they published. I felt my novel would fit in nicely with their young adult and paranormal romance lists and was ecstatic to know they did too.

If you are anything like me, you’ll do a lot of dancing and squealing. I know some people who pinched themselves to make sure they weren’t dreaming. I remember grabbing a cup of coffee and, just in case I had dreamt the email, sitting right back down in front of my computer to read the letter one more time.

You’ll want to tell the world the good news. My mom and dad were the next to know, then my kids and the rest of my family and friends.

At some point in all of this a little bit of panic may set in. I realized I was no longer writing for myself. I would soon see the schedule which would include deadlines. I also learned just how many different social medias there are out. But the panic passes quickly and you go back to dancing.

It's a wonderful time. If you keep writing and querying, it will happen for you too.